Making a Difference: Building Partnerships That Work

MSU Urban STEM knows that building partnerships and making connections can make a BIG difference!  Michigan State, WIPRO Ltd. and Chicago Public Schools have joined forces to provide students in urban schools a strong education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Our fellows are also reaching out to their communities in order to build partnerships, create essential connections, and make a difference.  Oscar Newman, Science Coordinator at Chicago Academy Elementary School, is partnered with Lincoln Park Zoo’s Young Researchers Collaborative.  Many benefits have surfaced over their two year partnership.  He and his students have interacted with live animals at the zoo, while studying animal behaviors and much more.  He shares that since his students have been engaged in the hands-on studies, they are much more observant.  He also says their inquiry skills have advanced tremendously.  “Most importantly, my students have improved their understanding of opportunities to learn about nature all around them,” Newman adds.  In collaboration with The Lincoln Park Zoo, he has been able to offer students a real-world science study, while empowering them with a greater sense of science literacy.

A MakerSpace is also on the horizon thanks to an important partnership!  James Edstrom is a Math teacher at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center.  They have teamed up with Exelon and the Illinois Institute of Technology to ensure that the students of Von Steuben have a solid STEM foundation, including a new place to tinker!  Thanks to the partnership, a five year initiative is underway.  The beginning phases promise funding and continued support for numerous STEM-based projects at Von Steuben.  The action team is known as Opt4STEM.  Edstrom is very grateful for the partnership.  He enjoys working alongside Tim Nuttle, who is also a member of our MSU Urban STEM cohort.  The plan is very exciting for both students and staff.  Can’t wait to see what the future brings!

These educators are embracing opportunities and making a BIG difference.  They are working hard to establish partnerships that work and enhance learning experiences for young scientists!


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